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Martin Bashir

News/Business. Journalist Martin Bashir uncovers breaking news stories. New.

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01:00:00

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mpeg2video

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ac3

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1080

TOPIC FREQUENCY

U.s. 11, Libya 10, Mr. Romney 9, America 8, Us 7, United States 7, Cairo 6, Dana 5, Egypt 5, John Mccain 4, Gary Johnson 4, Paul Ryan 4, Obama 4, Unpresidential 3, Mitt Romney 3, Gadhafi 3, Julian 3, Humana 3, Sarah Palin 3, Medicare 2,
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  MSNBC    Martin Bashir    News/Business. Journalist Martin  
   Bashir uncovers breaking news stories. New.  

    September 12, 2012
    1:00 - 2:00pm PDT  

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miscalculation. in my view, a disgraceful statement on the part of our administration to apologize for american values. >> a day to mourn becomes a political football. this is a raw afternoon with families in mourning as the u.s. diplomatic corps and, indeed, entire nation reels from an attack on the united states consulate in libya with four americans killed, including ambassador christopher stevens. the president visited the state department earlier today signing a book of condolence in honor of ambassador stevens. flags have been ordered at half-staff at white house and all public buildings for five days to honor the deceased. with 55 days until election, violence in libya and cairo has also become a flash point in the presidential campaign.
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providing a perfect case study in how these candidates respond to crisis. the president spoke in the rose garden this morning, alongside secretary of state hillary clinton. >> as americans, let us never, ever forget that our freedom is only sustained because our people who are willing to fight for it, to stand up for it, and in some cases lay down their lives for it. today we mourn for more americans who represent the very best of the yat of america. we will not waiver in our commitment to see justice is done for this terrible act. make no mistake, justice will be done. >> as the president has said, mitt romney is new to foreign policy, so he may have wanted to take some notes on how a president mourns the loss of a seasoned diplomatic envoy and others in the midst of a volatile international situation. here's a hint. it's not by launching a craven
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and misinformed political attack as mr. romney was only too eager to do last night, that that he reiterated this morning, to cancel a rally in florida to turn it into a hastily organized press conference before the president had spoken. even before all of the four fallen americans had been identified. >> when our grounds are being attacked and being breached, that the first response to the united states must be outrage at the breach at the sovereignty of our nation. and apology for america's values is never the right course. the president and his administration have done something which is inconsistent with principles of america. >> except that the statement romney is talking about was issued when the embassy was not yet under attack. indeed, mr. romney is hanging a crucial moment in his campaign on a political volley that con
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founds basic chronology. the u.s. embassy statement was a preemptive effort to quell demonstrations over an anti-muslim film that was starting to stir passions. quote, the embassy of the united states in cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of muslims. again, that was yesterday afternoon in a developing crisis, before the attacks on our diplomatic missions. but that didn't stop the romney camp from issuing a statement around 10:00 last night. quote, it's disgraceful that the obama's administration first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks. if you're scratching your head, it probably doesn't exist. never mind, mr. romney, carry
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on. >> it's never too early for the united states government to condemn attacks on americans. >> never too early even if the attacks haven't happened yet. joining us now here in new york is msnbc political author jonathan, and dana milbank, for "the washington post." in his news conference today romney says the three branches of his foreign policy, i'm quoting him, confidence, clarity and resolve. i notice the word accuracy was absent. >> it's not just that it was inaccurate. it was that it was very unpresidential and unwise. you know, one of the things that voters are looking for, especially when they're looking at a challenger, is what would this person actually be like on the job as president of the united states. >> and here you have the example. >> we have a glimpse. john boehner, mitch mcconnell, john mccain, lindsey graham, all
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the other major republican, they understood that today, when we've just had this terrible tragedy, we've lost our first ambassador since 1979 that today what do you is express sympathies for the family, you say justice will be done. you don't engage in political point scoring on this occasion. it is extraordinary unpresidential. one of the things the president has to do is be the mourner in chief. pull the country together when we were under attack, as we were last night in libya and cairo. so, for him to behave this way, and on top of that, to say things in a statement that are just factually untrue, is really, i think, a decisive moment in this campaign. >> dana, what's your reaction to the fact that mr. romney issues that statement before even the next of kin of those who have been killed have been informed? i mean, is this what we've come to?
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do we have absolutely no regard for the dead? >> martin, we've reached various points in this campaign where we've said, how can things get any worse than this? i even remember we were talking about it when the whole birther thing came back again. now we've reached a whole other order of magnitude here. one shudders to think -- you know, we have more than 50 days left, what else could happen here? this started out bad enough at night looking like it had just been a mistake in the statement that was made. you could say maybe they didn't realize the chronology of it. but to compound it this morning after the death of the ambassador had been reported, you can see there's already beginning to be a recoil here. after romney's statement, paul ryan comes out, you don't hear any of this, blaming the obama administration. >> dana, hang on a minute. you're talking about a recall, the man stands in front of the press today and goes much further than de in his own
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statement. he starts describing the president's conduct as disgraceful. >> right. >> that's not recoiling. that's doubling down, in my book. >> i'm saying they're recoiling since the doubling down this morning. >> oh, okay. i'm sorry. >> i think they realized they really have stepped in it this time. romney's instinct in various cases has been to stick with conservative base, go with that line of attack. that was his first instinct here. clearly he realized there was trouble. that's why you see them putting out all these background talking points. that's why you see paul ryan coming out and giving a very different statement this afternoon than mitt romney gave this morning. >> indeed. to both of you now, we've just heard that a new editorial has appeared in "the wall street journal" -- sorry, i think it's in your paper, dana. tuesday is a tragedy that should prompt bipartisan support for renewed u.s. aid to libyans who
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are struggling to stabilize the country. that instead provoked a series of crude political attacks on president obama by gop presidential nominee mitt romney. is a discredit to his campaign. john, do you see this as a pivotal moment in the romney campaign? >> i can't say for sure but i certainly hope that it is. you know, you've got to draw a distinction between gaffes, which is when somebody misspeaks and they pay a political price for it and colossal miscalculations which have sometimes in the past sunk campaigns. they're not gaffes, slips of the tongue, they're things like barry goldwater defending extremism or walter mondale promising he's going to raise everybody's taxes in 1984, or john mccain suspending his campaign in 2008 to say he's going to solve the economic
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crisis and then not having anything to say about how he would solve it. i would put this in that category as a moment, a defining moment in this campaign where we got a climgs of what kind of president mitt romney would be, and it ain't a good one. >> dana, they're not gaffes. i want you to listen to the number romney said apologize or some version of that word at the news conference. >> to stand in apology for our values. apology for america's values. a statement akin to an apology. apologize for american values. apologizing for the right of free speech. the principles america is based on is not something we shrink from or apologize for. the embassy issued what appeared to be an apology for american principles. >> at least seven times, dana. why is he hanging his foreign policy on this one word? >> boy, maybe because there
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aren't a whole lot of other words available to him at this point in time. i think jonathan was absolutely correct in invoking john mccain suspending his campaign. this is a weak four years ago when lehman brothers collapsed and that was in the end, in retrospect of the mccain campaign. they were flailing saying, we're shrinking in the polls so let's throw a hail mary, see what we can get. that's what he's done here. it seems it's failed in a spectacular way. we'll only know in retrospect whether that, in fact, has happened. >> on the apology point, mitt romney wrote a whole book called "apology where t "apology" where he said barack obama was on an apology tour. yet there wasn't a single quote in the entire book of barack obama apologizing for the united states. >> he needs to find the word
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accuracy as opposed to apology. thank you. stay with us on this historic day. >> i've lost a friend. my thoughts and prayers today are with chris' family and the loved ones of his fallen colleagues. may god grant them comfort in their time of grief. ♪ there was another man wounded in hatred ♪ ♪ and it's a hard it's a hard ♪ ays a key role throughout our lives. one a day women's 50+ is a complete multivitamin designed for women's health concerns as we age. it has more of 7 antioxidants to support cell health. one a day 50+. one golden crown. come on frank how long have we known each other? go to e-trade. they got killer tools man. they'll help you nail a retirement plan that's fierce.
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you should be advised that mitt romney is not alone. these embassy tragedies have also brought out the worst in other republicans as well. liz cheney, for one, couldn't
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resist the opportunity to tweet, mob attacks embassy. replaces u.s. flag with al qaeda flag. embassy responds by condemning people hurting muslim's feelings. worse, however, was the man who heads the republican party. at 12:01 this morning after the state department issued a statement confirming at least one death, reince priebus tweeted, obama sympathizes with attackers in egypt. sad. mr. priebus is the face of what was once known as the face of the grand old party. i'm joined by charlie rangel from capitol hill. good afternoon. >> good to be back with you. >> what's your reaction to a presidential candidate firing off cheap political shots, even before we'd learned that ambassador stevens had been
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killed, and hours before the next of kin had been notified? is this what we've become, with absolutely no regard for the dignity of those who have been killed? >> martin, to be perfectly honest with you, the economic climate being so badly working against the president, when romney won the nomination, i was pleased in believing that his incompetency and -- this was a big plus for me as a democrat. this was especially so when they added paul ryan to the ticket. but as i talk to you today in view of the comments being made by mitt romney, as an american and as a patriot, i truly believe these two are a threat to our national security. people don't know how lightly we take our politics. but foreigners listening to these statements really cannot believe that they're speaking for americans. so, in a sense, as a democrat, i
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want so badly to feel good about our chances for re-election. but as a patriot and as an american, i feel ashamed that we allow people like this to allow foreigners to believe that that is how insensitive we can be. >> because it does appear that he's playing the role of an opportunist, seeking to exploit a national tragedy. and that -- on 9/11 of all days, really? >> i thought the same thing about 9/11 when americans can show how great we were in coming together, how outside forces could really, as much pain as they cause, could bring all americans, democrats, republicans, liberals, conservatives together. but i look at mitt romney as an empty suit that comes out of central casting for a movie, rich, european looking, and just give him a script and he figures
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he can do it. i don't really think that even mitt romney could be as inconsistent as this as a person. they just keep from the right give them different things to say and he says it like he believes it. it would not surprise me if tomorrow he has an entirely different view of the mishaps he's made today. >> but to your point -- to your point, sir, isn't this an example of the way mr. romney is being played like a puppet? all week conservatives have been urging him to become more aggressive in attacking the president. even sarah palin, the other genius on foreign affairs, said he should be more personal in his attacks. so even at the very least appropriate moment romney can't help himself but do what he's been ordered to do. >> and he's still trying to gain the support of the right. we know at one point he said he's the most conservative
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candidate we have, and he knows no one believes anything he says, but he is still going to the -- to the tea party people and proclaiming his allegiance there. normally people believe after the primary you go back to the center. he's going further to the right, if that's possible. it's bad for the campaign, it's bad for the country. we hope most americans think what's good for this country, what makes them proud as americans, and these statements being made by romney does not represent even republicans. >> just a final question to you, sir. he sold himself as a ceo. he says he can run businesses. he can't even run his campaign, can he? >> well, you know, people sitting in charge of people, telling them what to do, and it appears to me, you give him a
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script and he's pretty good at it but his scripts have not been consistent. i mean, it's one thing to know how to make money. it's another to know how to be compassionate and also improve the quality of lives of people. yes, you can be the ceo on a board of directors, but if you don't have a director, what do you do? >> thank you, charlie rangel. we will go directly to the region when we come back. ♪
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darkness has descended on the middle east after a day filled with protests throughout the region. and as suspicion builds that the attack on the consulate in libya may have been coordinated by militants on the anniversary of september 11th.
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nbc's chief foreign correspondent has more from cairo, richard engel. >> reporter: as details emerge, what's striking is how different these two attacks were. the demonstrations in egypt seem far more spontaneous. people were already protesting near the u.s. embassy in downtown cairo. this video emerged, or at least information about the video, emerged as a couple of clerics in the city started to talk about them. they started to talk about them on local egyptian television. they were claiming that the video was about to be aired. and emotions got out of hand and people tried to climb over the walls -- they did climb over the walls and entered the u.s. embassy. that's what happened in egypt. what happened in benghazi was totally different. there were -- it was allegedly inspired by the same thing, the same video, but in that city, militants attacked the u.s. consulate. it appeared coordinated. they appeared to be using
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military tactics. they were armed with heavy weapons. that's not the thing an impassioned crowd just does. an impassioned crowd doesn't just have rpgs on hand, move in and have an attack that takes place in at least two waves. that's the kind that al qaeda or an al qaeda-like organization, and there are many of them in libya, could carry out against the u.s. consulate. what's unclear is did they know that the u.s. ambassador was there at the time, or was that just a coincidence? these are all open questions. another open question, so where does this go from here? and there are supposed to be demonstrations on friday. the egyptian government, the new islamist -- or islamic-leaning government of president morsi is encouraging these demonstrations on friday, a completely different tactic from the former
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regime of president mubarak who not only would have discouraged the protests but arresting the ring leaders. this is a new kind of egypt, certainly a new middle east. >> richard engel reporting from cairo. thank you. [ male announcer ] wouldn't it be cool if we took the nissan altima and reimagined nearly everything in it? gave it greater horsepower and best in class 38 mpg highway... advanced headlights... and zero gravity seats? yeah, that would be cool. ♪ introducing the completely reimagined nissan altima. it's our most innovative altima ever. nissan. innovation that excites. ♪
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to help you put more play in your day. the calcium they take because they don't take it with food. switch to citracal maximum plus d. it's the only calcium supplement that can be taken with or without food. that's why my doctor recommends citracal maximum. it's all about absorption. four american lives lost abroad and one political opportunist at home. here are today's "top lines". >> how could this happen in a country we helped liberate? >> when the gadhafi regime came to an end, chris was there to serve as ambassador to the new libya. >> he risked his life to stop a tyrant and then gave his life trying to help build a better libya. >> we will not waiver in our commitment to see that justice is done. >> a statement which is akin to apology and i think was a severe miscalculation. >> a guy whose idea of foreign policy is whether you stash your
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assets in switzerland or the caymen islands. >> when a mistake is made of that significance, you speak out. >> you want to backseat drive but at the same time when you're asked for clarity of your vision, what is it? >> that statement happened before any of the violence. before the demonstrations. before the killings. >> the romney campaign is going to have to make some changes. liberalism is still a dirty word in this country. use it! >> should he use words like in, dangerous sdmree needs to be severely agreeses ive. >> a severely republican governor. >> i want to clarify a graphic we used on the show yesterday. >> should have read 14.2% not 7.8%. >> oops. >> mitt romney is not backing down from his statement that america's number one foe is russia. then he said, america's number one movie is "the goonies". >> it's a mangy old dog. it's not true. >> the house has done its job.
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>> members of romney's own party is starting to criticize him for being too vague. when asked, he said, maybe. >> the test isn't whether you think everything is hunky dory. the question is whether you think he's taking us in the right direction and the answer is yes. >> we're joined by michael eric dyson, julian epstein and my colleague and msnbc contributor joie reed. julian, i have to start with breaking news. the president has been asked in a special report about mitt romney's attacks on him as an apologist today. take a listen to this. >> there's a broader lesson to be learned here. gov more romney has a tendency to shoot first, aim later. as president, one of the things i've learned, you can't do that. it's important for you to make sure that the statements you make are backed up by the facts and that you've thought through the ramifications before you make them.
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>> do you think it was irresponsible? >> i'll let the american people judge that. >> shoot first, aims later. that's about it, isn't it? >> well-being i think the president as usual is bei ining magnanomus. first, prayers go out to people serving abroad. this is not just an attack on romney. this is like a fighter in the middle of a ring getting his butt whooped and takes a flailing swing before he goes down. hillary clinton talked about that 3 a.m. phone call. this was mitt romney's 3 a.m. phone call, which he clearly wasn't able to handle. mitt romney claims he wants to be the ceo of this country. yet he cannot run a campaign with any degree of competence. he doesn't have an economic plan, as we've discussed many times. when it comes to just a very simple thing, which he should have done today -- >> a core issue of judgment. a core issue of judgment. >> he and his campaign are
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unable to get it right. identify seen a lot of presidential campaigns inspect is the most incompetently run campaign, democratic or republican, i've ever seen. >> wow. >> joy, we've been hearing experts in foreign affairs, like sarah palin, asking mitt romney to be more aggressive, severely personal in his attacks, and he's done that. how is that working for him? >> what's sad about it -- the only correction to what julian said, this is not a swing, this is biting your opponent's ear off. it's clumsy and silly. it speaks to this continual need of mitt romney to be liked by the most extreme elements of his own party. he doesn't even know how to behave as a statesman, as an adult, aas a candidate -- >> are you saying he's alienated from himself when he's -- >> there's a disassociation there mentally. he's doing what i think he thinks the far right will be pleased with and make him more
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likeable to them but he winds up making himself look absolutely unpresidential. to julian's point, at least an incompetent campaigner. >> we're hearing a slightly different tune now from some talking heads. here's peggy noonan. >> i don't feel mr. romney has been doing himself any favors say, in the past few hours, perhaps since last night. sometimes when really bad things happen, when hot things happen, cool words or no words is the way to go. >> now, professor, i have no wish to defend mr. romney's ill-con founded attack on the president but he was only following the advice of rush limbaugh and sarah palin and now they're telling him to shut up. >> he's leading from their behinds.
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let's throw in peggy noonan with her graceful words. the reality is this, let's throw in the bashir brain and the reality is, that this man has no clue as to what foreign policy is about. he doesn't bear the dignity of a statesman. he doesn't have the calculation of a critical thinker. he doesn't bear the sensibilities of a wise soldier like bill clinton and doesn't have the cool character of a barack obama. he is voiceless, visionless and god knows -- i don't want to say he's brainless but he's being dictated to by people in the media, whose job it is to stir up the emotions and to give arounsmentes but not to give cool, calculated strategy for american foreign policy. and on 9/11, the very day we are asensibly supposed to come together and be unified, he unleashes attack on president obama. and then this morning he comes back again, getting his facts wrong. he can't even get wrong about when the anti-american -- or
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anti-muslim film was made and the apology issued by the embassy in cairo, which was right and they stand by that, because they were trying to stop the fullment iing after the violence. this is a man who's proved he's not presidential material. the more he speaks, the more we're convinced of that. >> we can't forget the fact that four americans were killed. and yet here's mitt romney issuing a statement, hours before the next of kin were even informed. i mean, the indignity, the lack -- the embarrassment. >> and you wonder why the campaign would let mitt romney make such an unbelievable mistake. as you pointed out, even republicans are pointing out that this was distasteful and unpresidential. and i think the reason for that, martin, is this, every presidential election has an
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inflexion or tipping point. generally it's the third week in october where you sense one team is running away with the elections. i think the difference in this election is that that inflexion point happened in august, after there was no bounce from the ryan pick, after they had a such convention, democrats had such a good convention and we see a huge bounce in the polls now, i think the republicans, particularly the romney campaign, feel like this campaign is slipping away from them and they had to do this kind of silly, tasteless hail mary pass that ended up backfiring. again, this just shows a guy -- if a guy runs a campaign so badly, how can we trust him to try to run the country? and i think this is really -- this is really a teachable moment for the country about what kind of guy this is, a guy that will exploit a moment like this in a way that's harmful to the country and harmful to the national interest. >> a final comment from you. doesn't this also today severely contrast the dignity of the president and the secretary of
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state, who didn't even mention romney or his comments in the way they spoke, compared to romney's press conference earlier today in. >> yeah. and i think had the president not been asked specifically about it, he probably would not have commented at all. there is a time for politics and then there is a time for the simple dignity. you did use the right word. simple dignity of an american statesman to state the country's dwre grief collectively. if you can't do that when you're running, it's hard to believe you could do it as president. we have to remember where romney is coming from politically. he's surrounded by people from the bush administration, neat y -- the neocon sort of thinking, you just need bluster, puff up your chest, put down others and reassert what everyone believes, yes, this say great country but the idea that blusary loan is foreign policy. it isn't. >> i wish we had more time, but
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thank you. coming up on "hardball," chris mathews next at 5:00. next, the presidential candidate team, romney wants to keep off the ballot. stay with us. bob... oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign. looks good. [ male announcer ] fedex office. now save 50% on banners. [ male announcer ] fedex office. when you take a closer look... ...at the best schools in the world... ...you see they all have something very interesting in common. they have teachers...
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that also becomes headaches. i was very skeptical about aspirin. bayer advanced was completely different. it really did get rid of the pain. put bayer advanced aspirin to the test for yourself at fastreliefchallenge.com. the republican party is trying everything in it's powers to keep libertarian presidential nominee gary johnson off the ballot in critical battle ground state. that's because mr. johnson may well be a threat to mr. romney. indeed, currently polling at 4% nationally and even higher in states like new hampshire and colorado. that has republicans deeply worried about mr. johnson's siphoning off votes they'll desperately need come november. i'm delighted to say governor gary johnson joins us in the studio. >> great to be here with us. thank you. >> we had a discussion, you and i, some months ago, about the fact that republicans were quite
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determined to keep you out of the debates. and they did so in cahoots with cnn, i believe. and now they want to keep you off the ballot as well. what are you done wrong? >> well, i would be talking about issues that aren't being talked about by other candidates. the notion of not bombing iran. the notion of getting out of afghanistan tomorrow. bringing the troops home. marriage equality, believing it's a constitutionally guaranteed right. i would have never signed the national defense authorization act. i would like to balance the federal budget tomorrow. i would like to kick crony capitalism tomorrow -- >> i haven't seen a single element of that in mitt romney's platform. >> or barack obama's either. anyway, big differences between myself and the other two guys. and i am talking -- i want to point out that i'm going to be on the ballot in all 50 states. right now i'm on the ballot in
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47 states and the district of columbia, litigated in the three states where i'm not. these are formidable challenges being launched by republicans. >> the truth is that you have been fought in places like virginia and ohio -- >> by republicans. >> for a party that represents freedom, what's happened? believe me, this is an exclusionary process. >> hang on. do they not believe in freedom now? mitt romney says every single stump speech, i believe in american exceptionalism, i believe in freedom, freedom, but he's trying to fight you, except when it comes to a ballot. >> and as governor of new mexico, i'm not being hypocritical. i always promoted the notion of more is better. the fact that more choices people have, the better democracy functions. >> had ralph nader not run in 2000, al gore would almost certainly have become president. if you don't win, would you
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prefer to spoil mitt romney's party or the president's? >> you know, i'm so different in both. i mean, i'm more liberal on issues than many -- on many issues than obama. i'm a lot more conservative on many issues than romney. i think i'm really representative of the majority of americans that, speaking with a broad brush stroke r fiscally responsible and socially accepting. >> would you like to take pla place -- take part in one of the presidential debates? >> i would like to take part in one -- >> have you approached the organizing committee? >> well, you know, we're talking about ballot access when it comes to the presidential debate commission. this is a commission made up of republicans and democrats with no interest whatsoever in hearing from a third party. right now my issue, martin, is just being in the polls that determine who gets in the debates. fy were acknowledged for where i'm at today, which is, say, 5% nationally, the overwhelming reaction to that would be, who the hell is gary johnson and
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what is he all about? well, i do well under that scrutiny. i have a resume that shows i can do this job. >> you have experience. >> i have more executive experience than the two guys i'm going to run against, and i may have vetoed more legislation than the 49 senators in the country, and that was a combination of spending and government intruding on our civil liberties. >> although mr. obama has been president for four years. >> i was governor for eight. >> libertarian candidate for president, gary johnson. john boehner thinks paul ryan validates the worst congress in generations. really? stay with us. era laundry detergent is a black belt stain fighter. it once stomped a stain with such force, the results could be felt around the world. [ explosion ] [ alarm buzzing ] [ rumbling ] [ people screaming ]
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more on the controversy brewing over the foreign policy crisis that's exploded in the wake of attacks on the u.s. consulate in libya and protests in egypt. right now we're joined by ari
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mel ba of "the nation magazine" and jonathan capehart of "the washington post." thank you both. ari, mitt romney has attacked the president and his administration for their handling of this very fluid situation. now the president has responded. listen to this. >> there's a broader lesson to be learned here. governor romney has a tendency to shoot first and aim later. and as president, one of the things i've learned is you can't do that. that, you know, it's important for you to make sure that the statements you make are backed up by the facts and that you've thought through the ramifications before you make them. >> do you think it was irresponsible? >> i'll let the american people judge that. >> it's important for to you make sure the statements you make are backed up by the facts. he's failed miserably on that for some time. and you thought through the ramifications before you make them. what he says, he doesn't appear to have thought through any of this. >> that's right. i think what's disturbing for them, for people who follow the
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campaign closely, there's nothing new about mitt romney trying to seize on the narrowest of situations to exploit some sort of partisan gain. but we are under an international spotlight here where i think this is one of those moments where people actually pull back and pay attention. so, i think the vise he's displaying we've seen before but the ramifications are different because we have sensitive relations in the region. we have to do an investigation out there, involving law enforcement and -- >> and four people who are deceased. >> that's right. so this isn't a day for campaigning, although mitt romney saw it that way. it's a day to think of the brave americans who died and then make sense of what our policy is. >> jonathan, what's your reaction to what you heard romney initially issue as a statement and then that staggering doubling down earlier today in florida? >> well, it was unbelievably undignified. this is the second time we've seen mitt romney seize on an international incident before
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having all the facts and even before the incident itself had played out. this happened in may when the blind chinese dissident was trying to get out of china to the united states and negotiations were happening behind the scenes, you know, back channels, and mitt romney put out a statement, like in the early hours of what was happening, injecting himself into an international situation where he didn't belong. so, to see what he did today, takes what he did in may and ratchets it up in terms of its irresponsibility through the roof. mitt romney should have made the kind of statement that ronald reagan made in 1980 when the failed mission to rescue the american diplomats in tehran. president reagan, then candidate reagan, had a very dignified, statesman like response saying, i'm with the president. this is a tough day for the
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country and left it at that. >> yeah. if you look at the polls, just a quick look at the polls, it looks as if the campaign is now desperate. the gallup daily tracking poll has the president seven points ahead. is this what's motivating romney, just desperation? we're not get any traction. we didn't have a convention that produced any bounce, it was minus one. now the democratic convention was very positive for the president. so let's go all-out crazy. >> when things are running well and organized, policy advisers, former military leaders the candidates consult with have real-time interaction with the candidates. it's not just politics. some republicans, and some have spoken out today, who would clearly advise mitt romney to give the right answer which is we care about the people we've lost and we'll look to a full briefing and full investigation. the fact they weren't either available or to get through to
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him or couldn't prevail on him tells me he or a small group of political people are running everything. that's not good. >> jonathan, very briefly, do you think it's desperation? >> it's starting to feel like it. i mean, people have made the analogy between what's happening now and what happened four years ago with john mccain and the implosion of our economic system. i'm having that same queasy feeling this go around. >> thank you so much. we'll be right back. ♪ ♪ [ sneezes ] [ male announcer ] if you have yet to master the quiet sneeze... ♪ [ sneezes ] [ male announcer ] you may be an allergy muddler.
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it's time now to clear the air. and the staggering speed at which mitt romney chose to exploit the tragedy at u.s. consulate in libya has even republicans scratching their heads and wondering if this man really is in over his head. it was utterly shameful that he rushed out a political statement before the next of kin had even been notified.
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yet this was clearly a calculated decision. mindful that the current president has a solid record on foreign policy. so, romney couldn't resist the chance to score some cheap and tawdry political points, and on 9/11, no less. what makes matters worse is that mitt romney has had no less than four, yes, four, different positions on libya in less than six months. position one was spelled out in march of last year when he said this. i support military action in libya. i support our troops there. so, from position one, romney attacks the president for not being aggressive enough. then less than three weeks later came position two. the president is being too aggressive. in a short op-ed romney said he now supported a specific limited mission as humanitarian. so, he shifts from military actions to humanitarian aid in
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the course of just three weeks. but then with the fall of gadhafi came position three, which briefly celebrated the dictator's fall and then demanded the extradition of the lockerbie bomber. yes, romney issued a written statement that read as follows, as a first step i call on this new government to arrest and extradite the mastermind behind the bombing of pan-am 103. keep up with me now. position one, the president is too weak. position two, the president is too aggressive. position three, let's go and get the lockerbie bomber. finally comes position four. when reports of gadhafi's death started circulating, mr. romney expressed criticism it hadn't happened quickly enough. i have seen those reports and if accurate, i think the response is, it's about time. so, there you have it.